Homelessness

Why Does it happen

Who what when where

The 2001 Population Census data:

  • 99,900 houseless people in Australia (105,304 in 1996)
  • 54% adults over 24 years of age
  • 10% under the age of 12 years
  • 36% young people between 12 and 24 years
  • 42% of houseless people were female
  • 58% were single (58,116)
  • 19% were couples (18,840)
  • 23% were families (22,944 people or 6,745 families

On census night in 2001, only 14,251 (14.25%) of people considered by the census to be houseless were staying in services funded through the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP). SAAP, jointly funded by Commonwealth and State Governments, provides funds for crisis services to houseless people around the country.

Yhe following information relates only to SAAP clients (2002-2003 data)

  • Male (42%)
  • Female (58%)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (18%)
  • People from non-English speaking backgrounds (14%)
  • Average age of female clients: 30
  • Average age of male clients: 33

People aged 18 and 19 years had the highest rate of SAAP service usage at 145 clients for every 10,000 in the general population.

The next highest usage rates were by 15-17 year olds and 20-24 year olds, among whom there were 114 and 113 clients, respectively for every 10,000 people.

Nationally, nearly one-third (31%) of support periods were provided to males aged 25 years and over presenting alone at SAAP agencies and 21% were provided to female clients with children.

Unaccompanied females aged 25 years and over accounted for 15%, while unaccompanied males and females under 25 years accounted for around 13% of support periods each.

Overall, 6% of support periods were for couples with or without children. Males with children accounted for just 1% of all support periods.

Most common reasons for houselessness (SAAP survey):

  • Domestic and family violence (22%)
  • Eviction/previous accommodation ended (11%)
  • Relationship/family breakdown (11%)
  • Usual accommodation unavailable (11%)
  • Financial Difficulty (10%)

The most common reasons for each client group are:

Male alone, aged under 25

  • Usual accommodation unavailable (16.7%)
  • Relationship/family breakdown (16.5%)

Male alone, aged 25 or over

  • Financial difficulty (15.4 %)
  • Usual accommodation unavailable (14.9%)

Female alone, aged under 25

  • Relationship/family breakdown (21.5%)
  • Domestic violence (12.3 %)

Female alone, aged 25 or over

  • Domestic and Family Violence (43.9%)

Couple with no children

  • Eviction/accommodation ended (21%)
  • Financial difficulty (14%)

Couple with children

  • Eviction/accommodation ended (26.7%)
  • Usual accommodation unavailable (14.1%)

Male with children

  • Eviction/accommodation ended (20.9%)
  • Relationship/relationship breakdown (17.7%)

Female with children

  • Domestic and Family Violence (51.8%)
  • Eviction/accommodation ended (9.1%)



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